The other day, it was raining and dreary outside. The sounds of the raindrops against the siding was too soothing and relaxing. It was difficult to wake up and drag ourselves out of bed. The bed often has a way of pulling you back to it. It didn’t help that either one of us got very good sleep. Once we finally got dressed and ready for our day, we got into the car.
We first started our drive in silence. I could tell that my son wasn’t himself. “Are you tired?”, I asked him. He nodded his head. “Yeah, me too. The rain sure can make you sleepy”, I continued. “Yeah, and it can make you feel kind of sad, too”, he replied. I knew how he felt, but I thought of a way to change that.
I turned the radio down completely. “Okay, I have a game”, I said. He put his 3DS game down, “What?”, he asked me. “We both have to smile, and whoever stops smiling loses”, I suggested. I could tell that he was confused, yet curious about this new game. “Okay”, he laughed. Then we both counted down to start the game, “3…2…1”. Then we smiled.
We both looked at each other often to see if we would catch one of us not smiling. But we both held our smiles well. We would switch to showing to teeth or not, because smiling really can be tiring. It ended up being a fun game, because it was hard to talk or yawn while smiling hard enough for the other to see. Because I was so tired, I just could not stop yawning, which was funny.
Half way to school, I announced a break, so we could relax our facial muscles. “yes, because I’m tired”, my son agreed. “Okay, take a break!”, I said. We stopped smiling, but only for a moment. When we both looked over at each other, we were both still smiling. Then we erupted in laughter, “Oh my god, we are still smiling!”, I laughed.
The funny part is that was my plan the whole time. I knew it would shift his mood and that it would create this happiness built in himself. I remember reading up on studies that those that force themselves to smile, it releases serotonin and it can change their moods drastically.
That is what I just did for my son. He went to school much happier than what he was when he first got into the car. He became the sunshine to himself that he needed on this rainy day. I’m not an advise blog, but you may want to seriously try this for your children on their drowsy rainy days. It may make at least a little bit of a difference.